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Done Deal! Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld completes transfer to Al-Duhail in Qatar

Farewell, Toby.

Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Another long-serving member of Tottenham Hotspur has now left the club. Spurs announced via their social media channels this morning that long time defender Toby Alderweireld has completed a move to Qatari side Al-Duhail, a move that was first leaked a couple of days ago. The transfer fee was not disclosed, but previous reports suggested it was for around £13m.

Toby’s relationship with Spurs has always been a little fraught. In the past two and a half years, there were rumors that he was dissatisfied with then-manager Mauricio Pochettino and was pushing to leave the club in in 2019, but almost immediately signed a new contract after the appointment of Jose Mourinho. However, Toby was also viewed as one of the players who was unhappy with the way the Portuguese manager was running things towards the middle of last season.

What you can say is that he was unquestionably one of Tottenham’s best defenders over the past 25 years, and is perhaps second only to Ledley King. Toby formed an imperious center back parnership with fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen at the height of the Pochettino era and was one of the best defenders in the Premier League for a stretch of about three years.

His transfer to Qatar is an incredible bit of business, just like his transfer to Tottenham for £11.4m back in 2015. Toby was one of those players, like Rafael van der Vaart, whom you couldn’t quite believe Spurs actually managed to sign. Now 32, Alderweireld is leaving the club for one last big payday in the Middle East before presumably either returning to play his last days back in Belgium, or hanging up his boots for good. He will be remembered by fans for his defensive acumen, his gorgeous long progressive passes from the back, and his swath of impervious hair, seemingly styled with some sort of sealing polymer.

He will be missed. The “painful rebuild” continues. We go on. Thank you Toby.